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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  April 16, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> your tie matches the weather. >> i like when that happens. >> thanks for watching. >> see you at 6:00. on our broadcast tonight, ferry disaster, a terrible tragedy at sea involving hundreds of high school students missing and feared dead and tonight, the frantic mission to reach anyone trapped and still alive. sticker shock on everything from milk to meat, tonight what is behind some sudden spikes in food prices. wrong diagnosis, it's happening to an alarming number of patients. tonight the warning that it's no longer enough to simply follow doctors' orders. and survivor, she stared down cancer and won and stunned her doctors with what she uncovered in the search for a cure. "nightly news" begins now. from nbc world news headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. good evening. tonight there are fears we're
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watching one of the worst peacetime disasters in the history of an entire nation. in the waters off south korea tonight, over 280 people, most of them high school students remain unaccounted for after the ferry boat they were riding on sank and a number of survivors report that even as the ship was listing badly to the side, people were told to stay where they were in the vessel and not rush out to the deck. the ferry, a large vessel, almost 500 feet long with a capacity of 900 passengers set sail last night on south korea's coast for an overnight trip to an island tourist destination several hundred miles away. trouble came about 12 hours into the overnight voyage. we get our report tonight from nbc's keir simmons. >> reporter: there was panic. passengers desperate to escape the sinking ship anyway they could. some jumping into the sea, rescuers raced to the scene, 18
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helicopters, almost 100 ships. pulling people from the ferry as it went down. inside soaked and frightened, young passengers waited for help. i almost got trapped one said. another shot this video. the water is rising she screams. others texted their parents, mom in case i don't get a chance to speak to you, i love you. dad, the ferry has tilted too much. i can't move. by nightfall, it had completely capsized, just a small section still visible. the ship called "seawall" is 480 feet long. it sank in 120 feet of water. more than 170 people survived, many of them injured but there were at least 460 people on board, including 325 students from the same high school on a holiday trip to the island known as the hawaii of korea. anxious parents gathered at the school outside seoul.
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this mother begged rescuers to do more, then broke down. it's still not known what caused the accident, but survivors described a sudden jolt. they told us to stay still, but the ship was already sinking one survivor said. there were lots of students who didn't get out. with hundreds still missing, divers searched the wreck through the night. the cold water, about 54 degrees could cause hypothermia in less than two hours but it's possible there are more survivors. >> when a ship of this size turns over and does it so quickly, there will be air pockets. now those air pockets can be a lifesaver to people trapped inside. >> reporter: still, south korea is bracing itself for what could be the biggest maritime disaster in decades as hundreds of parents wait for word of their sons and daughters. keir simmons, nbc news, london. also, overseas, tonight, after several fits and starts,
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the search for the missing malaysia airlines jet has resumed. almost three miles down on the sea floor in what's been widely reported, we know more about the surface of the moon than the bottom of the ocean. it takes a long time but finding wreckage that deep has been accomplished before. nbc's katy tur is at search headquarters in perth, australia. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian from perth, australia, where it is already thursday morning. bluefin-21 is once again scanning the ocean floor, it's third attempt at what is a problematic process. for the second day, bluefin 21 surfaced early and empty-handed with no significant detection. and while the submersible works to map the ocean floor approximately 1,000 miles northwest of perth, the visible search debris covers
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more than 21,000 square miles. >> it is a engineering feat. it is a major operation. >> reporter: charry is an ocean nothingographer in western australia. he says the challenges are normal, especially in a place as remote and uncharted as the deepest waters as the southern indian ocean. >> the pressure down there is intense. it's 450 times than what we experience at the surface. so there are very few vehicles in the world which can actually go down to that depth. >> reporter: but it can be done. two years after the crash of air france 447, the fuselage and flight recorders were found. david hall ran that mission. he spoke to nbc's stephanie goss. >> it was like looking in the rocky mountains for a show box with a flashlight. >> reporter: it found its target some 13,000 feet below the surface.
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malaysia airlines flight 370 is believed to be at a depth of 15,000 feet. malaysian officials vow to keep on looking. >> this is a promise that i made to the families of the passengers that we will continue. >> reporter: they vow to keep looking but we're on day 41, and the chances of seeing floating debris are greatly diminished at this point, which means officials might start scaling back the visual search on the water, brian, quite soon. >> katy tur, who remains on the story where the search is based, perth, australia, thanks. extreme weather is having an impact on a big part of this country tonight. the upper midwest, about record cold and yet, more snow. the cold wave extended from south dakota all the way east to new york. snow forecast ranged from a half a foot to 18 inches through tomorrow. heavy flooding is also a big problem tonight, especially in new england with all the melt off. flood warnings and watches in effect in parts of connecticut, massachusetts, vermont, new hampshire and most of the state
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of maine where one man was reported killed and on this 16th day of april, the problem in midtown manhattan was ice falling from high-rise buildings this morning. it seems like it's been nothing but wild weather from coast-to-coast for so much of this past year and last. floods and fires, deep freezes in the east, a drought emergency out west. we can't say we weren't warned about spikes in food prices as a result, and those are now becoming a reality in supermarkets across this country. our report tonight from nbc's stephanie goss. >> reporter: at a cattle auction in texas, you'll see why steaks are costing so much more these days. there just aren't that many cows and steers. domestic cattle herd is the smallest it's been since 1951. >> we have a lot less beef now than what we've had, and so far the demand has kept the price of
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beef up at these levels. >> reporter: low supply, high demand, high prices. even the most casual shoppers can't help but notice the difference. it can hurt? >> yes, definitely puts a dent in the budget. >> reporter: at $5.36 a pound, red meat is at the highest price in yearly 30 years and not just beef. chicken rose 24 cents in 2013, eggs 14 cents, and a pound of bacon surged 64 cents higher. factors include a virus that wiped out millions of pigs in the u.s. also, a growing demand for u.s. food imports in china but the biggest culprit is one of the hardest to control, drought. california and the southwest continue to struggle with record water shortages. lots of cattle ranchers have lost their pastures. >> when the drought got bad, i had to sell. no rain, you got to feed. >> reporter: at a supermarket in new jersey, customers stopped buying so much beef changing how the store stocks the butcher counter.
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>> scaled down maybe 15% to 20% of what we buy. >> reporter: it is not just felt here there is an effect on the overall economy, as well. if i have to spend a lot at the supermarket, i'm less likely to spend more on other thing when is i leave. ranchers say restoring the herds will be a slow process. the threat of more drought has made everyone more cautious. >> meat prices are going to stay close to these levels for the next three or four years. >> reporter: a daunting prediction with the summer barbecue season only just around the corner. stephanie goss, nbc news, new york. there was an unbelievable story out of boston last night where on the first anniversary of the marathon bombing just after the emotional ceremony and moment of silence at the finish line, people were forced to evacuate the area again as police moved in and locked it down because of a suspicious backpack. it was later blown up by police. it was a rice cooker imitating the original pressure cooker bombs filled with confetti.
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about the suspect, he's 25 and a self-described performance artist less affectionally described by this morning's "new york post" as a cross-dressing lunatic. he was arrested and sent to a state hospital for psychiatric evaluaon after causing a lot of people a lot of needless concern and heartache. at a high school near pittsburgh one week back to school after a student went on a rampage. returning students were greeted with words of support as they came to franklin regional high school. 16-year-old suspect allegedly attacked 21 students and a security guard with two kitchen knives. he's charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault. four students from the attack remain hospitalized. the issue of gun violence and how to reduce it in this country is back on the agenda tonight, largely because of a new effort financed by the independently wealthy former new york city mayor michael bloomberg, with polls showing a
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overwhelming number of americans support background checks for all gun purchases, this new initiative takes aim at the nra by borrowing some of their own tactics. our report tonight from our national correspondent kate snow. >> reporter: in 11 cities across the country today, support for a new organization, every town for gun safety. >> we will win! >> reporter: michael bloomberg who banned smoking in public places and tried to ban supersized soft drinks is pledging 50 million dollars of his fortune to combat gun violence. is that the beginning? >> it's nothing compared to the 31,000 people that die in america every single year from either suicide or murder from illegal handguns. i can't think of anything better to spend my money on. >> reporter: the effort is backed by many family members who've lost loved ones. >> stand up and go toe to toe with the gun lobby. >> reporter: shannon watts was a stay at home mom motivated by
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the newtown shooting. >> this is the first time a grassroots effort has gone up against the gun laws. >> reporter: online a video to provoke mothers to join the campaign. the strategy is an acknowledgement what has been tried before hasn't worked. last fall, colorado passed a stricter law after bloomberg and senators voted for it, bloomberg himself became an issue. the lawmakers lost their seats. >> for those gun-owning americans who believe in the second amendment, who will think this is a new york mayor billionaire trying to tell me what to do. >> we're not telling them anything. all we're saying is that if somebody wants to buy a gun, they should go through a background check. >> reporter: but the nra will be a powerful foe, with more than 5 million dues-paying members. >> the average guy in the country values his freedom and doesn't believe the fact he can own a gun is part of the problem and doesn't like the media and high-profile politicians blaming
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him. >> reporter: bloomberg plans to steal a page from the nra book. publicizing the voting records of state and federal lawmakers. >> you shouldn't vote for somebody that's putting your child at risk. >> these legislators will hear from moms, whether to thank them or shame them. >> reporter: bloomberg's pledge of $50 million means this group would be spending more on advocacy per year than the nra currently does. they plan to open offices in states where the nra has always had a strong presence. brian? >> remaining active. kate, thanks, as always. still ahead for us this evening, new information just released tonight showing how often the doctor isn't always right, and the warning here is it could be harmful to your health. and later, the crowd goes wild, that is during a new phase of the british invasion down under.
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the story we mentioned before the break making medical news tonight. new numbers out this evening telling a troubling story that millions of americans are
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getting the wrong diagnosis every year with many facing life threatening conditions. we get the story tonight from our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman. >> reporter: there years ago, 54-year-old judy bainesner, mother of two, went to her doctor with startling symptoms. >> i knew something was wrong. i knew i didn't look well. i knew i didn't feel well. >> reporter: she feared it could be colon cancer but her doctor never advised a colonoscopy. >> i had a history of anemia but he passed it off to possibly being menopausal. two years later a second opinion and the revelation that she had stage three colorectal cancer. >> i was very, you know, scared, frustrated, upset, and of course, apprehensive. about what was facing me after the diagnosis. >> reporter: judy is not alone. she's one of thousands of cases researchers looked at in a study
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published. by the british medical journal, "quality and safety." it found that one in every 20 patients is misdiagnosed, that's 12 million americans every year. of those misdiagnoses, half could mean harm. >> there was a clear missed opportunity to make a timely or correct diagnosis at that point of time. >> reporter: the study found patients with conditions ranging from pneumonia to anemia to lung and colon cancer could have symptoms unrecognized by a doctor when they seek care at a clinic, private office or emergency room. experts say the errors could be more frequent because doctors could be overwhelmed with patients and a complex care system. >> there is more specialization, more places to fall through the cracks, more studies and tests done for routine office visits. >> reporter: judy has been cancer free for nearly three years.
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she hopes her cautionary tale will help others. >> my advice, especially if you're a mom, go with your gut. >> reporter: listen to your body and be a strong advocate. dr. nancy snyderman, nbc news, new york. and we're back in a moment with something new towering over a famous skyline.
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former u.s. army sergeant kyle white will become the latest american service member to be awarded the medal of honor by the president. during a fire fight in afghanistan in '07 despite his wound, he repeatedly braved hostile fire and leave the rescue of the squad after the fire fight killed six members of his unit. white becomes the seventh living recipient of the medal from the wars in iraq and afghanistan. he attended north carolina on the gi bill and works as an investment an list in charlotte. the white house ceremony will take place may 13th.
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as you may have heard as we've been reporting this week, the mustang turns 50 this week. and ford has duplicated a p.r. stunt. they got a mustang onto the observation deck of the empire state building. bill ford, great grandson of henry ford unveiled it today. by the way, he was eight years old the last time that was done. perhaps you remember the golden oldies, the really hard vocabulary words we studied for the s.a.t.s, the words that would cause sweat to break out on the forehead of those stone-cold students in high school. the new words for 2016 will not include questions about obscure words, an attempt to better align the test with high school and college realities, otherwise, many fear the test will become obsolete. good news, bad news out of
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lincoln, nebraska, where a young mom called 911 to report her toddler missing and in good news the bowling alley called to saw they had a toddler in the claw machine. unclear how the 3-year-old got there but the good folks waived the 50 cent fee and got the kid out and free without charge. the young royal couple william and kate are enjoying a hugely successful trip to new zealand and australia. the parents of young george proving to be a success on the road. the royals proved themselves to be a thoroughly modern couple and at times more closely resemble action figures. in one 24-hour period this weekend, a wine tasting, jet boat ride, cricket match, and they all seemed game for it, always happy to be reunited with george at the end of the day. a new poll in the uk would see support in the monarchy. when we come back, a young woman's remarkable story of survival and how her own illness drove her in the search for a cure.
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finally here tonight, the story of a teenager here in new york who is on a live-saving mission. she wants to find a cure for an unusual form of cancer, and as a survivor herself, she has already contributed to a better understanding of the disease. ann curry reports tonight on a young woman's very personal effort. >> reporter: she is flying the height she might never have imagined. an energetic child from new york city. at 12 years old she was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer that mostly strikes young people. >> it was scary but i had the sense, of course, i'm going to survive. i'm not going to die at 12.
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>> reporter: 70% don't live longer than five years. she underwent surgery. they removed a tumor the size of a grapefruit. >> yeah. >> reporter: doctors say her cancer is gone now but she says it never fully left her. >> it's part of with who i am. i was kind of happy and proud to be a part of that community. >> reporter: at 16 she began to search for a cure inspired by her father sandy, a prominent biophysicist at rockefeller university. >> it was something she had to go after. >> reporter: alona had a lightbulb idea, maybe if she looks at young people's dna cleaner than adults the cancer causing mutation may be more visible. >> here we have this mutated protein highlighted in green. she collaborated with seasoned researchers and did something unheard of in scientific circles. she appealed for tissue samples on youtube. >> you can ask the doctors to send it to researchers so people can try to develop a cure for the cancer. >> it actually worked. we had people contact us and say
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how can i get you my tumor? >> reporter: the new york geno center sequences tissue samples from 15 patients, all had the same mutations. >> reporter: astounded top genetics experts agreed this teenager was on to something. >> this is the root towards a treatment and diagnosis. i think alona is the first of the new breed of scientists. >> reporter: a high school senior, she co-authod a paper, an extraordinary achievement that didn't surprise her parents. could you have stopped her if you wanted? >> you know alona. when she has her mind set to something, no stopping. >> if this ends up helping real people, people that i know, people that are currently struggling with this disease, i don't know what else i could ask for. that's amazing. >> reporter: ann curry, nbc news. >> that's our broadcast on a wednesday night. thank you for being here with
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us. i'm brian williams, we of course, hope to see you back here tomorrow evening. good night. nbc bay area news starts now. literally spewing out water for three weeks. >> a new problem with leaking water as the state of california struggles through a drought. i'm jessica aguirre. >> and i'm raj mathai. it's not just one or two water leaks. it's widespread. nbc bay area has uncovered that pipes are leaking across the city of san jose, and workers
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are having trouble keeping up with the demand. we showed you this last night. it has been leaking for two days and turned the street into a soggy mess. >> reporter: what it really comes down to is water down the drain in the middle of a drought. water crews were out here to repair this leak on rosewood avenue. but they still have more leaks to repair. some residents tell me they have waited for more than three weeks before crews showed up. >> it was literally like a little geyser. >> reporter: she says for three weeks she watched gallons of water run down the street. she reported the leak to san jose water company, not once but five times. >> they keep telling us not to use water, and we're not using water, but water's just spewing


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